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Somebody brought a heat exchanger into the shop to see if we could do anything with it. I think he said it was from either a Westerbeke or Perkins and it is a big Aluminum casting made to fit on the side of the engine. It is seriously "et up" by corrosion. Aluminum, in salt water? REALLY? What were they thinking?
Direct replacement is probably not an option as I suspect that such a custom casting is very expensive. I told him to do a quick patch with JB Weld just to see if the engine can be made to run and then to buy a different heat exchanger online and make it fit. I see that Universal has an exchanger for only $299.
Aluminum?
 

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What is wrong with aluminum in salt water, as long as it is marine grade it will last forever.

That goes for steel too though, if it is not stainless or a decent corrosion resistant type like what hulls are made out of it will just rust away in no time.

Entire boats are made out of unpainted aluminum.
 

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At least on my Perkins, it came with an aluminum heat exchanger that had bronze end caps. The previous owner did not replace the zinc which lead to some pretty extensive corrosion. A replacement exchanger was $1400. I rebuilt mine using Pyro Putty for aluminum. I haven't reassembled the engine yet, but it seems to be pretty strong and good to 1400 degrees.
 

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Yeah, the Bowman PE180 heat exchanger (and exhaust manifold) on later models of Perky 4-108's is cast aluminum with a cupro-nickle tube stack. There's NO sea water contact with the aluminum casting -- the water circulating around the tube stack inside the casting is engine coolant (fresh/distilled water and antifreeze.) The end caps on the tube stack feed sea water through the inside of the tube stack, and keep the sea water from hitting the aluminum.

Sounds like someone didn't keep those two zones (fresh water and sea water) separate.
 
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